The new gold coins of 1907 were the result of the unprecedented collaboration of a great sculptor and a dynamic President. Awed and even frightened by the youthful Theodore Roosevelt’s bounding energy, Republican Party leaders in the 1900 campaign had hoped to corral him in the largely ceremonial post of Vice President, while giving the Presidency to less vigorous William McKinley of Ohio. McKinley’s assassination at the opening of the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1901 hurtled Roosevelt directly into the White House—with far-reaching effects.
Elected President in his own right in 1904, Roosevelt was unhappy with the trite Inaugural medal designed by U. S. Mint engravers Charles E. Barber and George T. Morgan. His interest in numismatic art was awakened when his artistic friends urged the commissioning of a really innovative Inaugural .... (Expand Text)